Good Seasoning!

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Matthew 5:13 NIV).

Jesus speaking–to all who claim to be His followers–we are the salt–the seasoning that makes life more palatable--not only for us, but for all. What happens to salt that no longer has the capacity to make food taste better or to preserve it? It is thrown out, no longer useful for anything.

Those of us who know The Word and attempt to live The Word are responsible for making a difference in the lives of all we meet–as a living epistle of how God wants us to live. When we miss the mark, we need to go back to The Word and replenish our capacity to continue to salt–sprinkle truth–every where we go.

Now, if we are the salt–the seasoning that makes living worthwhile–why is it that many only want “sweetened” messages? In essence, they want to skip the meal–the seasoned meat and vegetables and get the dessert–with all the sugar that will make them sick when they over indulge on just the “sweet” stuff. In fact, in some churches, people never get a full meal–they get an appetizer and then dessert–it’s as if the chef only knows how to prepare “tidbits” and “sweet stuff” which is bound to leave a body–malnourished.

And then we have those who preach and teach such bland messages that people fall asleep before ten words have been said. The saddest part of all is even the singing is bland–no life–and when people start staying away, the leadership wonders why.

God wants us balanced–seasoned just right! That’s why He uses all types of personalities to promote His Word–the person who knows how to prepare the right proportion for an appetizer, leading to igniting taste buds for more and then serving up a flavorful, full of zest meal–has no need for a dessert, but if one is served, it is miniscule in comparison to the appetizer. These are the churches that grow because the congregation recognizes where they can get a good meal, with good seasoning, and not just a sugary dessert.

Not every church growing in number is actually growing in knowledge. There are some churches who only serve dessert and they grow, but not in knowledge, since they get nothing of nutritional value and get weaker with every meal. Those who are growing in knowledge, get stronger with every meal because of the balanced nutrition a wise leader promotes and serves.

We are the “good seasoning” not the sugar link that causes people physical problems, but we create environments in which people can know the difference between a message that does more than just tickle the tummy, it fills the spirit and helps people to soar to new heights in the knowledge of God.

Salt-Soddened Heart!

My heart is crying, overwhelmed with life

Watching the suffering of many, the constant strife

Between others–mothers, and children, husbands and wives

Nation against nation, no one carrying about the lives

Of people who feel–misery and pain,

Lost, with no more to lose and nothing else to gain,

The salt seeps into each muscle and tendon,

Navigating its way through each ventricle and back,

Saturating all the tissue which holds the emotions

In check, no longer able to reasonably resist

Giving in to those thoughts and feelings that created

The mess of lives and nations galore,

My heart is crying, deeply saddened and sodden

By all the salt–meant to preserve, but now burns

As I watch how one thing after the other turns,

Into chaos and confusion!

My heart is crying!

Be a Light!

“…Let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV).

If we look at the this entire passage of conversation in which Jesus is telling us how our roles should be seen, we get the picture of being a person who is absolutely necessary in bringing others into the knowledge of God.  In verse 13–we are salt–we have the ability to preserve and stop the bloodshed.  In verse 14–we are light–the light that must shine brightly in a dark world so others can see their way back to Christ.  If they see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven, they are more likely going to accept God’s way of doing things.

So, are the problems we face in the world the fault of the people who don’t know God and deny His existence or is that we have not fulfilled our role?  Are we being the preservative of others’ souls we’re instructed to be (instructing, advising, being an example)?  Are others seeing our good deeds so we can win them, not by what we say, but by what they see?

This is not an accusation, but it is intended to ignite reflection about how we–who say we believe–do things.  If we are just talking the talk and not walking it, we’re wasting our time and the time of those we are attempting to convince.  In the minds of some–we are hypocrites. In the minds of some–we are crazy.  I’d rather be thought crazy–because of my public proclamations of God’s goodness than a hypocrite because I’m talking too much or too loud and saying and doing nothing. I’d rather be the light than a partaker of the darkness.

Lord, help me to become a beacon of light in the dark places of souls of all those around me so they will glorify You.